Saturday, May 29, 2010


The long week-end was really quiet except for two families who visited here. I had started the pen work on Friday so when no one came to help Saturday morning at least I had a jump on it. I worked every day for about 5 hours raking , pushing wheel barrows and then doing fresh waters for every one. Its really all the physical labor I can manage and normally come in around 2: 30 eat, shower and take a couple of hours before I go out and feed dinner to everyone. It takesme four days to do the pen work by myself.

Penny is having trouble again and watching her strain is heart breaking. Every day sometimes twice a day I try and help her before I get cleaned up and then again just before I go to bed. By Thursday night she welcomed my assistance and laid there while I cleaned her out. A new diet , I keep trying and have seen positive results for my sweet kissy girl.

Tuesday morning the guys would return from B.C. Corrections I left here at 7:30 to head into town to buy another roll of fencing and a load of 2x 4’s so they could continue there work here. The perimeter fencing is almost done now and the animals will be safe from getting out and into trouble. So I was back by 9 and I pretty well spent the morning following the crew around , getting extension cords out , finding hardware to use back and forth from one end to the other side of the pasture . And then putting them all away when they leave. Other then that I took the day pretty easy and considered this my day off.

Wednesday after the crew left I went to town to get feed , another roll of wire , the food for me and it was 4 when I got home. It took about an hour to get everything put away . Cleaning up the feed room as I unloaded and getting the wire off my truck and then putting the groceries away. Had something to eat a break and back out for dinners for the kids.

Thursday the guys weren’t coming but it wasn’t raining so off to Pitt Meadows I went to pick up a load of bedding for the pigs . I got home and added hay to all the pigs houses , put the rest of it away and I was done by 1 but tired as moving hay is heavy work again and pushing it one bale a time by wheel barrow to each house . Once you get in the sheds you pull it apart to fluff it up and see how much more required if needed.

Friday the guys are back and I am in the house at just before 2.00 after putting all my tools , nails ect away. I am going to eat and do nothing more until dinner for the kids. I didn’t want to do anything too heavy today so I am in good form for tomorrow mornings piggy clean up.

Two weeks has gone by with no one helping with the animals care here , i really need to find some loyal animal lovers who want to help me do this before i go back to work full time.

There has been no fundraisers since December by Karmavore and the relocation and setting everything up safe again has been costly and is on going. 100ft of wire fencing is 247.50 and i have purchased 4 rolls now , this price does not include the posts and 2 x 4s. I have spent and put everything i have into this from the property to the pen work ,now fencing and i still need outside lighting and tons of bark mulch.

During the pen work for Panda i have missing my Dads level, a battery charger, a drill, fencing hammer and several spades. During the work here for the fencing tools break and a tape measure, a shovel and a few rakes need to be replaced. I also bought two new wheel barrow tires at a cost of 45.00 each, 50ft hose to attach to the 100ft one so i can reach all the paddocks for waters.

Several of the sheds need work, new roofs , new floors , door work required and all of this will have me back at the lumber yard. And oh who is going to do the work, some one else i will need to hire who will rob me blind when i'm not looking??

Long and short of this post is to answer inquiring minds as to what i do here all day as i am not working at a full time job. When i do work i am not a carpenter or a farm worker and no way can i take anything that involves labor as i have to keep my physical strength for here. Working 4-5 hours a day at heavy work is all i can do and is only 60% of the job i do here.

I need help to do this , there has to be some one out there who can help me .

Saturday morning and its raining out , the work will be hard as mud/manure is heavy and difficult to push a wheel barrow threw. I know my sister is coming..

Edited to add my sister is the only help who arrived here so there is still two days of pen work to do.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Pro's and Con's

Burnaby Pathfinders returned to the Sanctuary Saturday morning and took care of the animals in so many ways. The girls took turns at chores like raking manure , scrubbing out water tubs , moving brush and even replaced a tire on one of the wheel barrows. I can't say enough about the girls and the team leaders here as they attack every project with a smile on there face and nothing is too much for them to handle. I see a bright future for these girls as the life skills they learn with this organization is clearly building a solid foundation for there tomorrows. Just before they must leave time is set aside to spend with the animals too. Treats and love shared with everyone and watching two little girls tossing treats over there backs to keep big Rose off of there's is an image that makes me smile and one i won't ever forget.

Community Service has sent me someone new and Nick tackled my wood pile and got almost all of it organized out front and that eye sore out of the way. Now everything is separated , easy to get too and i know what i have under that pile.

My sister was here and she did the barn and raked the pasture of manure! Then a surprise visit by both Carolyne our bunny girl, and Alex who arrived with her dog little dog Sophie. They finished up the last two piggy paddocks , thank goodness !! And what a treat it was to just sit around after and visit in the sun, and then take little Sophie for a walk around the acreage.

B.C. Corrections has a work program for low profile offenders and i have hired about ten guys and they have been down here every day since last Wednesday. They removed all the salmon berry brush that was climbing over the 8ft fence line on the acreage out back. Posts and wire needs to be replaced and we will reuse what we can. I also needed boards put down on the bottom of the entire fence line to keep snouties from rooting under and ending up at my neighbors for dinner. This will also bring safety to the animals here and not make it so easy for black bears to climb over. When you look out back you see the forest now and we have added some square footage too as the fence is being moved back about 40-50 ft in some places. This gives the pigs some natural habitat to explore and shade for my horses.

I do let out some of the pigs when the guys are here and of course Buddy and some of my more professional moochers set up camp around the cook as he prepares lunch for the crew. What they did in life to have them end up where they are is none of my business but i will tell you they are polite, respectful and mindful of me and the animals here. Sharing there lunch and left overs , petting pigs and horses is a common sight. And my dog Buddy is exhausted when they leave. ;o)

So this morning Mom has baked two large apple pies and she will arrive with her gift for our working crew this morning. A small diversion from prison life with a token of our appreciation , what could be better but a slice of Moms apple pie.

The pigs we placed are doing well in there new homes and have spoken to both families. Polly and Anna's Mom called worried because one of the pigs wouldn't eat dinner one night. The following morning that pig got up and headed out with new Mom tailing her. And that took her right to the shed where the chicken feed is kept and lead her to the bag she had got into the day before.

Daphne the over fed girl is learning all about love and trust at her new home as the fat has left her blind and deaf. Pretty scary for a pig to be moved some where new and not having sight to see where she landed. But her new family is proving to her she is safe now and she can root to her content if she wants too.

Lugar ( 3 legged Shepard) is still missing on the island and now another dog( boxer) is missing in Langley who needs medication.

Following these stories and the pet rabbit slaughter at the Victoria University and then watching the CBC footage taken at a Calgary horse slaughter plant is enough to make any one sick. If one of those horses or rabbits was in your back yard you would be facing Animal Cruelty charges. But animal production plants and government agencies are clearly above the law. A handful of us in this cesspool of sickness has me wondering if we will ever evolve into a compassionate society.

An up close shot of our cute Panda Man and new guy Sherman checking out where he has moved too.

We are grateful to all of you who have helped me create Sanctuary, where our residents are safe and surrounded by love here.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Three Pigs

Over a month ago a gal contacted me who had just moved into a rental property in Langley. Two pigs had been left behind and in a matter of weeks her call regarding care went to i might keep them to i have to get rid of them. I assured her i would take care of them to just give me some time to try and find them a home. Her life also fell apart as did her marriage and the pigs were abandoned once again. Enter Karen who adopted two of our pigs a few years ago jumps to my emergencies for transport agreed to foster them for a confident two weeks max. Just how many pigs can i take care of by myself during the week, i have 40 here now? Miracles do happen and an email came in from our out reach and networking, these two pigs were wanted by a family outside of Kelowna. Home check and vet references aced , Karen transported the kids on monday to there forever home. These two girls have some pretty nice artwork in there heated house complete with automatic water stations and hay nesting materials.

About two months ago a family contacted me from Kamloops. They had a 4 year old female house pig who was tying them down. They could never go any where because of there pig. Not only was this pig over fed she was massive thanks to the hog grower she was fed. Fat blind and huge i didn't think i would ever find her a home and wondered where i would put her here. Its hard enough to find good homes for pot bellied pigs here never mind a huge one. Her one and only picture supplied by her family is one of a fat depressed pig. Awwwww but the wonders of technology and face book i posted that picture and met many new pig friends. Daphene arrived with her frying pan for a dinner dish and her blankets to her new forever home in Sorrento on Monday. This fat blind cranky pig wasn't allowed on the grass at her old place and she doesn't know it yet but she has been transported to paradise. There she goes with her little step brother in pursuit on grass like any pig needs.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

What to feed?

Every once in a while a conversation about feed comes into play. I have addressed the issue on my website and it really needs to be updated. The topic makes me crazy and on my website i have basically said:

"Pigs are just that, pigs. You would not feed cat food to your dog nor should you feed dog food to your pig. People way smarter then us have scientifically developed feed which contain the correct nutritional value , minerals and vitamins they need.
Over feeding or feeding the wrong food can cause so many medical problems I can't begin to address them all here.
Pigs who develop too much fat around the head causes blindness as the fat closes in over their eyes. They will also go deaf as the fat smothers everything.

Too little feed or the incorrect one will not keep your pig small, it will just cause development problems and you will have a starving pig in varied stages of malnutrition. "

Sadly many still think they are doing right as they have followed advise from the feed stores and they may be the biggest problem here. Some people take there jobs seriously and educated themselves so they can represent the product they merchandise on behalf of the animals they stock food for, some do not. I think some merchandisers will sell you anything to make the sale for various reasons. Maybe they don't bring the correct feed in, they can't be bothered too or they make more money selling you a bag of cheap rabbit pellets then they would on a bag of specialized feed.

The base for many of the grazing farm animal feeds is the same, for example it maybe hay based or alfalfa based. It will have added selenium,vitamins and minerals for example to support the species it is being milled for. What i am saying here is that you may see many of the same things listed on your feed bags from one animal to the next. However the ratios for different species is totally different , these feeds are NOT the same or good enough.

I can't get my head around how people can buy hog grower , horse pellets , rabbit pellets or chicken feed for there pigs. The key clue here is what it is being milled for and states that right on the bag. It is being formulated for that specific species ONLY.

Your pigs need the correct nutritional value and the ratio of food , vitamin and mineral content to keep your animal healthy. Everything you eat or you feed your animal should be about optimum health for long life. This equals good skeleton growth to organs and what the feed is formulated to do.

A low protein diet formulated for rabbits for example is the wrong feed ratio requirements for a pig.

Hog Grower is milled to
increase speed growth
for these doomed pigs to ready for slaughter. Do not ever feed your pet pot bellied pigs this formula.

Rabbit food is high protein do not be fooled that thinking a 12% protein designed for rabbits is a low protein diet for pigs because it is only 12%. Same as horse, chicken or big pig feed. These percentages are calculated ratios for the specific breed. Rabbit feed is too high of a protein no matter what percentage it is as that percentage is calculated by what is required for rabbits not pigs. Not only will this add fat it will cause liver and kidneys to work harder to filter /process incorrect feed ratios.

Also i will point out here that pot bellied pigs are prone to kidney stones and the feed has additives to help alleviate the probability of your pigs getting them. Male pigs die from blocked urinary tracts every day , it is why feeding the correct food and protein levels for the correct species is so important.

Please buy your pot bellied pig feed that is being milled for pot bellied pigs. It took years for scientists, professors , nutritionists , behaviorists and veterinarians to come up with the right formula to keep your pot bellied pigs at optimum health.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

April Showers Bring May Flowers

Leading up to Saturday our join up for volunteers wasn't looking too promising. In fact after 9;00 am that morning and looking out side with the rain coming down i feared no one was coming. I couldn't of been more wrong and surprised. Two new friends Clare and Jenn arrived with gloves and rubber boots and proceeded with doing all the dishes and doing waters. Kelly who is a long time piggy friend rounded up three friends and attacked the pasture, the barn and took out a fence that opened the acreage up even more. Mitch who is doing community hours is a a HUGE help and while i do one lane of the piggy paddocks he is doing all the rest. Alex and Sophie( pooch) arrive and even more gets done! By 1;00 we were all soaked, dirty, proud and happy!!

The pigs were spoiled with gifts of peanuts, raisins, grapes, carrots, apples , and celery. So they had breakfast, snacks and lunch!! lol

Meanwhile Marty was busy putting the finishing touches on Pandas paddock and our little fat man worked off some calories pacing and chewing on his new digs. Just so you all know one pigs paddock cost the Sanctuary over $2000.00. His impeding neuter will be another 600.00. Thank goodness Marty got the shed Panda called home since he arrived renovated and moved or that would of been another added expense.

Jane a new friend and teacher arrived with a BIG surprise a few weeks ago. With Tory starting his journey to Heaven i am only now catching up. Thankfully Panda has been sponsored by her Div 3 class at Harry Sayers Elementary School who put on an Easter egg( plastic eggs) hunt to benefit Elizabeth's Wildlife Center and us! How cool is that and i am looking forward to there visit here in the near future!

Alex and I came in the house and looked up some remedies for her pooch and alone at 4 i finally did three nights of dishes. Cheryl arrived 20 minutes into them with a case of vegan dog biscuits for Buddy and the pigs. A visit lead her into helping me feed the pigs and by 8 i was alone and starving.

I love it when people ask me what i do with my time...every day i work for the pigs ..every minute of every day.

Two pigs left behind in Langley were rounded up by Karen who has two of our pigs and helps me with transport all the time. And our good fortune carry's on with receiving an email from someone wonderful in Kelowna who wants to adopt them. Deb of CritterCare and CDART did the home check for us and me thinks these two pigs will be traveling to there new home on Monday.

We are still searching for a home for a pig in Kamloops and every day I worry when two girly pigs, who are on borrowed time at a California Shelter. And Lugar a missing dog who you can read about on Jeans Blog " My Life with Critters" that you can find on blogs that i follow here.

I am having problems with my system and will try pictures later ...